Los Angeles County is one of the most diverse counties in the country and the Sheriff’s Department is committed to equally protecting the rights of every member of the community regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical disability, mental disability, or gender.
Sheriff Robert Luna and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Major Crimes Bureau hosted a Hate Crimes Summit with other local law enforcement officials and government dignitaries.
The hate crimes summit took place at the “The California Endowment” in the city of Los Angeles. Sheriff Luna was joined by Martin Estrada from the United States Attorney for the Central District of California. Donald Always, Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, George Gascon, Los Angeles County District Attorney, and Becky Monroe, Deputy Director of Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs of the California Civil Rights Department.
Sheriff’s Department personnel were also in attendance along with investigative analysts, legal service providers, victim advocacy organizations, and community-based organizations that work to advance civil rights and hate/ bias initiatives.
The goal of the Hate Crime Summit was to address the topics of hate crime and hate incidents. During his speech, Sheriff Luna said, “We aspire that today’s summit will highlight our department’s commitment, along with those of our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to develop stronger relationship with our community stakeholders.”
In a County that thrives on diversity and inclusivity, hate crimes remain a profoundly concerning issue that challenges the very fabric of our society.
With respect to hate crime and incidents reports, our Department, has seen a 31.2 percent decrease in crime reports for the reporting periods beginning in January to July of this year. This is in comparison to the same reporting period last year (77 crime reports in 2022 vs. 53 crime reports in 2023).
In terms of non-criminal hate incident reports, for the same reporting period, January through July 2023, we have seen an increase of 10.9 percent (46 incident reports in 2022 vs. 51 in 2023).
The most affected hate crime and hate incident bias groups from January through July 2023 were:
– Anti-Black/African American, which made up 40 of 104 reports.
Despite anti-black/African American hate offense reports being the largest bias group reported to LASD in 2023, a decrease of -16.7% from 2022 to 2023 was observed.
– Anti-Sexual Orientation, which made up 19 of 104 reports, and decreased -5.0% from 2022 to 2023 during the specified time period.
– Anti-Religious, which made up 15 of 104 reports and decreased -21% from 2022 to 2023 during the specified time period.
– Anti-Hispanic, which made up 10 of 104 reports, and increased by 11.1% from 9 reports in 2022 to 10 reports in 2023 during the specified time period.
The summit featured presentations by subject matter experts who discussed hate crime investigations, victim support and provided information about the resources available to victims of hate crimes.
The summit also highlighted the Department’s commitment to develop stronger relationships with community stakeholders to better assess and identify the needs and address potential fears vulnerable communities may have when reporting both hate incidents and crimes.
Another portion of the summit implemented refresher hate crimes training to Department personnel by utilizing subject matter experts, and evidenced based policies and procedures that will encourage victims to report hate crimes, help stabilize and heal the community as aid in the psychological community recovery essential for victims and targets of hate crimes.
Overall, the summit provided an overview of the Department’s operations, investigations, and resources and commitment to protecting those freedoms by upholding the rule of law, cultivating strong relationships with the communities we serve and holding those accountable that commit violent acts, or illicit threats that are driven by hate or bias.
We must unite as a community to fight against criminal prejudice and discrimination. The Department strongly believes that ensuring a safe environment starts with being vigilant and taking collective action. If you become a victim of a hate crime, it’s crucial that you play an active role in combating it by reporting it immediately. We can only ensure that our communities remain places of respect and understanding by standing united.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department accepts, and documents reports for Hate Crimes and non-criminal hate incidents. If you believe you are the victim of a hate crime or a hate incident, contact your local Sheriff’s Station or Police Department immediately.